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MCT: Monday, July 13, 2020

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HOT AND DRY weather conditions will persist in the interior through the week. A thermal trough will build Tuesday through Wednesday, resulting in warmer temperatures for coastal Del Norte and Humboldt counties. (NWS)

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132 MENDO CASES (July 12, 2020)

Health Officer Confirms 19 New Covid-19 Cases And First Outbreak At A Skilled Nursing Facility

Post Date: 07/12/2020 4:30 PM

Today, Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan confirmed 19 new cases of COVID-19 reported to the County over the last 2 days. County staff has been working all weekend conducting case investigation and contact tracing. The number of Mendocino County COVID-19 cases is now 132 (91 Recovered; 1 hospitalized; 40 on home isolation).

Numbers in Isolation

North Coast: 6

South Coast: 0

South County: 2

Ukiah Valley: 24

North County: 8

Total: 40

Mendocino County is experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases and it’s important every resident help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe by wearing a facial covering that covering the nose and mouth; practicing social distancing; avoiding gatherings, confined spaces and close contact with others. COVID-19 incubation period is up to 14 days and Public Health is concerned we may experience an additional spike in cases resulting from increased activity county-wide over the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Of the 19 new cases, 3 are residents at Sherwood Oaks Skilled Nursing Facility in Fort Bragg. On July 7 an employee of the facility tested positive for COVID-19 and was promptly placed into isolation. Following the positive case an immediate plan was made in collaboration with Public Health to test all the employees and residents. The results of these tests included 3 positive test for COVID-19, all of whom were residents of the facility. These results were reported to Public Health on July 11. Once the COVID-19 status of the employee was reported to the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) on July 7, the facility went immediately into outbreak response with full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all staff and isolation of residents in their rooms. In addition, the facility was following the Health Officer’s Medical Masking Order which provides additional protections to SNFs.

The 3 new cases in the SNF were identified through testing conducted by the SNF on July 8 and processed at the Public Health Viral and Rickettsial Disease Lab (VRDL) in Richmond. The VRDL is available to the County for COVID-19 outbreak testing. All 3 individuals are currently asymptomatic. Case investigation and contract tracing was immediately initiated. The recent death at the facility tested negative for COVID-19 and the cause of death at this time is presumed to be unrelated to COVID-19. Public Health is doing further investigation and awaiting the death certificate. In addition, Public Health has reported this outbreak to the State as required and will be working with the State in support and review of the actions to contain the outbreak. Thus far Mendocino County is not on the State watch list. Additional testing will be conducted Monday, July 13, in effort to monitor and continue timely response to this outbreak.

Public Health and the SNFs throughout the County have been meeting weekly for months, led by our Medical Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC), to allow a coordinated response to potential outbreaks and to ensure SNFs have sufficient PPE and prevention protection protocols in place. The County and SNFs follow all the State guidelines including; using Optum Serve to do surveillance testing for 100% of SNF staff monthly and offering SNF surveillance testing to residents through Public Health. The preparation, planning, frequently testing and adherence to State guidelines were a key factor in the quick and coordinated response to this outbreak.

Supervisor Ted Williams:

I have been in contact with the skilled nursing facility over the past days. Everything required and beyond is being done by the dedicated hard-working staff. County and state public health officials are monitoring the situation and the facility is complying with all regulations. Some of the staff cannot return to work because of exposure to the positive person or because their families are scared.

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by Tommy Wayne Kramer

Have you ever heard your doctor openly criticize another Ukiah doctor? Has your doctor ever told you a local medical professional is incompetent?

It just doesn’t happen. I can’t imagine my doc saying “That guy wouldn’t know a stethoscope from a periscope,” or “Where’d she go to med school—the Hormel Butcher Academy”?

It’s professional courtesy and a mutual code of self-protection, which makes it all the more remarkable to read of the local emergency room doctor dissecting Mendocino County’s chief health officer and the road she’s leading us down.

“Dr. Doohan is allowing businesses to drive the agenda, thinking in some misbegotten sense that this is good,” said Dr. Drew Colfax, ER doc at Ukiah Adventist Health. “Newsflash! it isn’t good for business if people are dead.”

Dr. Colfax was not in a word-mincing mood when analyzing the county’s pandemic strategy, and when his quotes appeared on the front page of the 6-28-20 Ukiah Daily Journal it was easy to see why. Daily Journal reporter Karen Rifkin wrote that “Dr. Doohan presented information from a state model predicting that in 30 days Mendocino will have 53 COVID-19 patients in the hospital per day.”

Dr. Colfax’s response: “It’s really difficult to watch how we have handled this both statewide, nationally and now, unfortunately, locally as well. As an emergency room doctor thinking about going from 1 to 53 hospitalizations in 30 days, I fear the hospital will be overwhelmed in a way that is going to be very scary.” He added “Brace yourself if you live on the coast.”

For the past few months and right up to today, Mendocino County’s strategy for dealing with the Coronavirus has been to simply follow state guidelines. But what else might we expect?

Dr. Doohan works a 20-hour week piloting a health policy for a county 600 miles away during a pandemic. So, understandably, she takes the easy way. She gets a xerox copy of coronavirus guidelines from Sacramento, puts Mendocino County letterhead across the top and sends it out, assuming what’s recommended for inner city LA or remote Alturas is just right for Ukiah.

This helps explain why, as coronavirus cases increase, she paradoxically allows more and more businesses to open and citizens to congregate, albeit with masks and distancing. In May and June people were fenced out of parks and public spaces, and outdoor activities like golf were forbidden.

The policies were relaxed and increases in the disease immediately began to be reported.

Dr. Colfax’s words: “It’s pretty grim. We are on a trajectory in the county that is not going to be readily reversed if we do not shut things down. The curve now looks like a space shuttle contrail, almost straight up.

“In the fall it’s going to continue this way. We have squandered the opportunity.”

I guarantee I’ve never witnessed such bruising, one-way contempt expressed, openly or privately, by any doctor. Dr. Mimi Doohan may not be shocked or outraged at his comments. She may not even disagree.

No answers needed:

1) Have you finally admitted to yourself you’ll never hike up to the ‘U’ in the western hills?

2) Do people still bogart joints?

3) Do people still smoke joints?

4) Does Johnny LeMaster ever lie awake at night wishing he’d spent his entire career with the Montreal Expos instead?

5) Are Screaming Yellow Zonkers still around? (Kids: Ask your grandparents.)

6) Do you think the lawsuit between the City of Ukiah and the city’s Sanitation District is a crime or a swindle?

7) When some guy walks past wearing a red baseball cap do you hurry ahead of him to read the hat to find out whether or not you’re supposed to hate him?

8) Does everyone give a chuckle to see the fresh black scorched pavement ‘donut’ tire markings right downtown all over School Street? Wild kids! Fast cars! Or is it just me?

9) Would you rather suffer from miserable health while living in Ukiah, or be physically fit at Folsom Prison?

10) How do you think Diana Ross spends most afternoons?

(TWK, Ukiah’s most beloved and celebrated columnist, spends his days tending to his orchids and rare koi on his ermine ranch nestled into a few remote acres on Ukiah’s west side. Tom Hine handles PR duties and feeds hay to the cheetahs.)

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by Mark Scaramella

Supervisor John Haschak has attached a list of current Board ad hoc committees to his proposal to consolidate pot-related ad hoc committees for Tuesday’s Supervisor's meeting. 

Haschak apparently doesn't realize that the list demonstrates how little the Supervisors do or have done on a number of important issues that were fobbed off to committee never to be seen again. No surprise that the list provides zero info about the committees, showing only that they are “active,” presumably meaning that the committee is still slaving away on whatever issue was assigned to them.

Here are just a few of the ad hoc committees on Haschak’s list that we still await recommendations from.

  • Emergency medical services sustainability.
  • Road Naming Issues and Proposal
  • Identify and reduce fire fuel management
  • Road Maintenance Efficiency
  • Reduce street-level homelessness
  • Hack and squirt ‘Measure V’ (“Motion to direct code enforcement to investigate a documented first complaint regarding Hack and Squirt and return to the Board within 30 days; and formation of an Ad Hoc Committee.”)
  • Work with County Staff to discuss policies and procedures for placing items on BOS Agendas.
  • Work with Sheriff-Coroner, other Law Enforcement Agencies, and citizens to develop the Mendocino Model for Law Enforcement Oversight

Haschak’s list, of course, does not include the large range of assignments given to the CEO in the past. Such a list does exist but, conspicuously, it’s seriously incomplete, there are no deadlines, and there’s no follow-up besides the list itself, which is never commented on or discussed by the Supervisors, although it is occasionally included in the Board’s agenda packet deep into an occasional CEO report.

We are not surprised by the lack of progress on these various subjects. The Board seldom even asks about them unless they happen to be a pet project of one of the Board members. And even then the responses from staff are typically “we’re really backed up right now,” or “we’ve held some meetings, but…” or “We’re working really hard on that and meetings are planned,” or “We don’t have the answer right now but we’ll get back to you…”

An ad hoc committee being assigned to prepare “Policies and procedures for placing items on BOS Agenda” shows that 1. They don’t like the annoying way Supervisor Williams puts issues on the agenda as if he was a Supervisor or something (never mind that Williams doesn’t follow-up either, obviously). And 2. CEO Angelo wants to make sure that she retains maximum control of the agenda by forcing board members to go through some silly rigmarole of her devising before they can even bring something up. (There should be no restrictions on Board members’ agenda items. If a Board member puts an item on an agenda that for one reason or another can’t be discussed that day, they can simply continue it to a later date, as they do now. If a Board member puts an item on an agenda that is a problem (legally, perhaps) then County Counsel can simply point that out at the time.)

Last year when the Grand Jury recommended in their report entitled “Who Runs Mendocino County?” that, “Directive status should include goal, proposed action, funding status and primary agency,” CEO Angelo replied: “Recommendation requires further analysis and Board direction. The Board directive process and tracking is developed in coordination with the Board of Supervisors. Incorporating the proposed recommendations needs to be considered by the Board of Supervisors prior to implementation.”

So even a simple thing like keeping proper track of directives was pushed down the memory hole. (Of course, the CEO never put the subject on an agenda.) So there has been no “further analysis or Board action.”

In their separate response, the Board replied that “the status of directives will be updated to better describe actions to date as well as those that have been completed.”

So they acknowledged the problem, but of course, nothing of the sort happened.

The Board also claimed in their Grand Jury response that “the list of directives will be updated and the results reported in the CEO report.”

They were not.

Does Mendo even need a Board of Supervisors if all they seem capable of is talking about a few things CEO Angelo puts before them now and then, and rubber stamping them? PS. They’re also good at giving lip service to, then completely ignoring public input, even when it comes from the Grand Jury.

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Dear AVA Editor … 

Please stay C19 safe and, in this current weather pattern, please try and stay cool.

Re Attorney General and Investigation of Death-causing Uses of Force by Law Enforcement.

I am publicly in professional support of the current version of Assembly member Kevin McCarty’s officer-involved death investigation bill. When passed, AB 1506 will require the following:

The [California Department of Justice (Attorney General)] shall do all of the following:

Upon request from a local law enforcement agency or the district attorney, investigate and gather facts in incidents involving the use of force by a peace officer that result in the death of a civilian.

Prepare and submit a written report to the entity requesting the independent review and, as applicable, a copy to the district attorney or law enforcement agency involved. The written report shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

(i) A statement of the facts.

(ii) A detailed analysis and conclusion for each investigatory issue.

(iii) Recommendations to modify the policies and practices of the law enforcement agency, as applicable.

If criminal charges against the involved officer are found to be warranted, initiate and prosecute a criminal action against the officer.

The Attorney General shall post and maintain on the Department of Justice’s internet website each written report prepared by the division pursuant to this subdivision, appropriately redacting any information in the report that is required by law to be kept confidential.

Pretty straight-forward.

Since January 2011, my office has developed a reputation for conducting timely, objective, and full investigations, followed by comprehensive written findings and legal analysis, of officer-involved civilian deaths, written reports that I then release to the public and that we post on our DA web page (see News Releases tab; for one example of public acceptance of our local work product, see ).

Our local experience notwithstanding, AB 1506 is a common sense reform that will locally help continue the public trust in Mendocino County that local law enforcement has developed and earned over the years.

But unfortunately our local Mendo experience is not universal. Two recent shootings in Solano County may provide examples of a different experience.

The Solano County DA recently (and correctly) recused her office from investigating the deadly force actions of two Vallejo police officers, actions that resulted in the shooting deaths of two civilians. She has requested that California’s Attorney General do his job and handle the investigations. 

(See, ). AG Becerra is refusing because, among other things, he says he doesn’t have the money to conduct such investigations (please note that the Attorney General’s fiscal year budget is somewhere north of $825 million a year). While using his resources to initiate lawsuits against the federal government on a regular basis, the AG seems intent on also initiating an in-state game of hot potato on investigations needed in places like Vallejo.

A June 27th editorial by the San Francisco Chronicle called on the AG to stop ducking the call for his office to investigate the Vallejo shootings. (See, ).

Which brings us full circle. Once passed, AB 1506 doesn’t take away the local discretion of the DA, Sheriff, or police chiefs. Instead, in those extraordinary cases where local investigation fairness is called into question, AG resources shall investigate and report to the public on their factual and legal findings. This common sense approach promotes public confidence and trust in the legal and investigative outcome. AB 1506 mandates that the State’s chief law enforcement officer not quibble over local legal conflicts or recusals, that he not poor-mouth necessary officer-involved investigations, and that he not turn a blind eye on requests for assistance made, pursuant to statute, by a local DA.

DA Dave Eyster


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The Mendocino County Historical Society thought this would be a great time to share their small pop-up exhibit on the Palace Hotel in Ukiah that was on display for one night last July. If you were not able to make it to the pop-up, or want to see it again, the entire exhibit will be printed over the next few months.

The original Palace Hotel (photograph c. 1885) was located on the east side of State Street between Smith and Standley above what is now the Forest Club. Notice the I.O.O.F building to the right, which still exists. The Palace Hotel was erected in 1884 and burned in September 1889, ending the business on that site. Ironically, one of the Palace Hotel’s first advertisements read, “Largest Hotel in Mendocino County, A first-class fire proof brick building.” The balcony was a popular parade watching spot. The building was designed and built by Isaiah Betz and B. Fish. The building was owned by H.L. Gillespie and the business was first owned by by W.A. Hagans and W.M. Hagans. They sold to I.N. Stapp in March 1888.

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To the Editor:

I am so worried about schools opening and the heavy handed President who is threatening pulling funding if schools don’t fully reopen. Trump doesn’t care who gets sick or who dies in his quest to make people believe his lies that America is doing well with this killer pandemic. America has failed with the Covid-19 crisis. Opening schools will only make things worse. Trump is a dictatorial President who only cares about himself.

Tom Montesonti


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by Daniel Mintz

Concerns about a Humboldt County Board of Supervisors briefing on the incidence of COVID-19 in the cannabis industry were discussed during a videoconferenced meeting on Southern Humboldt’s business needs. 

Laura Lasseter of the Southern Humboldt Business and Visitors Bureau led the July 8 meeting, which also included Board of Supervisors Chair Estelle Fennell. 

Lasseter began the meeting by informing that cannabis farmers are concerned that their industry was “singled out” in a coronavirus update at the supervisors meeting the day before. 

Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich had talked about how coronavirus is relevant to cannabis farms and she identified the cannabis cultivation sector as a challenging aspect of COVID-19 contact tracing. 

Frankovich had said some of the county’s COVID-19 cases have been connected to cannabis operations. She added that the county hasn’t been able to find out whether they were licensed farms or not. 

Asked by Lasseter for more information, Fennell described how she had asked Frankovich about it. 

“It was my feeling that if somebody associated with one of those businesses did have people working for them who had been infected, it should be pretty easy to do contact tracing,” Fennell said. “There was a very, kind of a vague answer to that and the only thing I can think of is that maybe the people who had been infected didn’t say where they were working – but I don’t know.”

Fennell said cannabis farmers have “stepped up” to implement safety measures and have plans in place. 

The concern is that a lack of specificity will lead to the cannabis industry being broad-brushed. 

“What we see here is we have generations of farmers where this is their home and this is where they raise their families and they’re going to do the utmost care to keep their families and community healthy and safe,” said Lasseter. “And it might feel like everybody’s kind of being lumped together in the industry, without knowing whether it’s a licensed or farm or not.” 

“Well that was my question, Laura,” said Fennell. “That was my question – why can’t we know that? And I echo what you said, I’ve seen it at the businesses, they’re taking great care and it’s not fair.” 

Fennell added that after local blogs reported on the COVID-19 comments, people were talking about it and may have based their conclusions on “partial information.” 

Also during the videoconference, Hollie Hall, a consultant with Compliant Farms and a member of the county’s Project Trellis Micro-Grant and Loan Advisory Committee, highlighted the potential to gain additional grant funding for assisting cannabis farmers. 

Following up on that, County Economic Development Director Scott Adair said the county’s ability to administer the Project Trellis cannabis business assistance program will soon be improved with the hiring of a full-time dedicated staff member. 

Adair said a first round of Project Trellis grant awards will soon be distributed and more grant assistance is in the works. 

His office is “in the midst of preparing new documents” for round two of the Trellis micro-grant program and the first round of the program’s equity grants. 

“There’s a lot happening right now and a lot of momentum behind Trellis,” he continued. 

In other business assistance development, Adair said the county is hoping to get about $13 million in CARES Act funding and county department heads are discussing “what a potential small business recovery program might look like.” 

Earlier, Leila Roberts, director of the North Coast Small Business Development Center, said the California State Small Business Export Program (STEP) is co-sponsoring workshops on promoting online exporting of local products and launching a program that could make $5,000 grants available for it. 

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by Jim Shields

As more of California’s counties have reopened local economies and loosened stay-at-home orders, Gov. Gavin Newsom and state health officials are also monitoring counties that aren’t meeting targets related to curbing C-19 cases.

Without a doubt, the main targets not being met are compliance with recently issued mandatory facial covering orders, as well as bans against public gatherings as evidenced by huge weekend crowds celebrating Memorial Day and Independence Day, where celebrants mostly avoided masking up and maintaining social distancing.

I guess you could call it people misbehaving, but it’s coming at a cost.

On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said that state and local governments should require masks in public to slow the surge of new cases before it’s too late.

Fauci said states with soaring coronavirus rates — such as California — have a window of opportunity to bring it under control provided they require masks in public.

“We are facing a serious problem now,” Fauci said.

“What is alarming is the slope of the curve,” he continued. “The signal should be wear a mask, period.”

Here in California, three different factors trigger a county being placed on the state’s COVID-19 watch list: elevated disease transmission, increasing hospitalization and limited hospital capacity.

If a county is on the watch list for three days or longer, the state will order them to roll back reopening their economies which most likely means that employees who have recently returned to work, will once again revert to stay-at-home status, a move that will surely result in creating mass public resentment against health orders and those who issue them.

There are 26 counties on the state’s COVID-19 “watch list” (as of Thursday, July 9): Colusa, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern County, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Solano, Tulare, Ventura, and Yolo.

Here are a few representative counties on the watch list as well as the reasons provided by the state Dept. of Public Health (DPH), as well as my comments, for placing them on it:

Contra Costa County: Contra Costa was added to the watch list, taken off for a few days, and now is back on. An increase in hospitalization is what’s concerning here. The state advises Contra Costa holds off on reopening more businesses, such as indoor dining, gyms and movie theaters.

Fresno County: Fresno is in trouble for “elevated disease transmission,” especially in skilled nursing facilities and Avenal State Prison. (While the prison is in Kings County, some of its employees live in Fresno and have brought the virus back into the community). Controlling outbreaks at those congregate facilities is key to getting Fresno off the list, DPH says.

Los Angeles County: One reason Los Angeles County has nearly half of the state’s COVID-19 cases is because of its huge population and the fact that it’s doing so much testing. Still, the county is being asked to keep a close eye on positivity rates as an indicator that community transmission is on the rise. In fact, Los Angeles is currently seeing the highest level of hospitalizations since the pandemic began. Things are deteriorating so quickly that L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti warned, “These weeks are absolutely critical. Critical to whether our schools open, whether our economy thrives.” If things get worse, said Garcetti, “We’d likely return to a mandated stay-at-home order,” in one or two weeks.

Sacramento County: “Community transmission due to holiday gatherings amongst large families” has landed Sacramento County on the state’s watch list. The county is being asked to increase public messaging about social distancing and face coverings and increase testing in hot spot communities.

Stanislaus County: Is experiencing increasing hospitalization. Drivers of this include an increase in outbreaks and clusters related to family gatherings, businesses (in and out of county) and healthcare facilities; decreased attention to personal protection measures such as face coverings and social distancing. Action steps to address concerns include prioritizing rapid contact tracing, and increased messaging including a public media campaign to promote face covering and social distancing.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 12, 2020

Dorsey, Dues, Hodges


DAVID DUES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-under influence, false ID, failure to appear.

JODI HODGES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

Martinez, Maynard, Rodgers

MAURO MARTINEZ JR., Ukiah. Protective order violation.

ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

WILL RODGERS JR., Ukiah. Battery on peace or emergency services officer, resisting. 

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Vast seas of ignorance resulting from preoccupation with hedonism as far as the eye can see. The only way to deal with it on a social level is abysmally deep denial and distraction.

America is a nation of consumers in search of experience and sad to say, that is all Americans are now. You are what you buy and that is all you are. Americans are addicted to a simulacrum of real life. Identity established through external symbols is a bland existence, if it deserves even to be called existence at all but that is all that is left to do.

Where can you discuss? Where in this society can you find people to discuss with that won’t make any conversation all about them? Where can you find people who even read beyond a bare minimum of functional literacy?

Americans embrace isolation and individualism. Hence America will be a blip in history. Fire and brimstone if only in a metaphorical sense is America’s future. Tyranny of the banal is almost complete in America now. Everybody who comes here knows this. And that fact is important to all of us for different reasons.

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Captain Harry Love and the California Rangers, circa 1853

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From Driftglass:

...In yet another lazy, error-riddled, paint-by-numbers column (when has Mr. Brooks written any other kind?) about the problems that are crippling our society, Mr. Brooks once again manages to make the entire Republican Party disappear.

So let's skip a stone across Mr. Brooks' shallow, brackish puddle of words to see what he'e really talking about...

Two Cheers for Liberalism! (Or Maybe One and a Half)

Free speech has to rest on a shared morality.

...I defend liberalism because I think...

There follows a Brooks-brand sweeping and false generalization.

I am a liberal in a classical Enlightenment sense...

Translation: I'm a Conservative who has supported depraved Republican policies my entire adult life but you are out of your damn mind if you think I'm going to even mention that Conservatism exists. Instead I'll adopt the wingnut Twitter troll's favorite protecting coloration, "classic Liberalism." Hell, I'll milk an entire column out of it!

Liberalism was based on the idea...

Yet another bullshit generalization.

Liberalism sometimes devolves into atomization, an alienated society of lonely buffered selves.

Have I mentioned that the first half of this column is nothing but a farrago of ludicrous and wrong categorical pronouncements?

Liberalism assumed that people are primarily...

No, we don't.

By itself, liberalism is so thin it can’t even defend itself.

I don't even know what that means.

Now strap in, because Mr. Brooks is about to make a head-snapping pivot from assembling a laundry of list of laughably simpleminded generalizations about "Liberalism" a disquisition on how much he hates laughably simpleminded generalizations.

One of the reasons that America is so angry right now is that there is so much dehumanization. Racism reduces a human being to a skin color. The first casualty in a culture, political or generational war is the willingness to see the full humanity of the other. In this moment, some people seem eager even to dehumanize themselves by reducing themselves to a simple label and making politics their one identity. “Speaking as a. …”

"America is so angry"? Which Americans, David? "Some people seem eager"? Which people, David?

If liberalism left little space for group identity...

It didn't.

You get all these absurd generalizations: White people believe this. Elites believe that.

If I start laughing now at David Brooks mounting his high horse and riding up the steep cliffs of High Dudgeon over other people's "absurd generalizations" I will never be able to stop.

But calm yourself, kiddo, because Mr. Brooks can save us all from the sucky, imaginary "Liberalism" which he just invented with a megadose of another "ism" that Mr. Brooks has glommed onto.

Personalism is the belief that ...

Personalism is about constructing systems...

Personalism judges each social arrangement by how well it...

800 words about what has brought American society to its knees and not a single mention of Republicans, Conservatives or the political history of the past 30 years.

If I were Newt Gingrich or Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham, I'd be pretty pissed that David Brooks just used his column in The New York Times to cancel my entire life's work.

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by Doug Holland

I've known a lot of nuts in my life. What's the polite term? "Mentally ill"? "Emotionally disturbed"? "Has issues"? Nah, nuts. That's the catch-all word for malfunctions between the ears. You're probably nuts, and I'm absolutely nuts.

When I open up and tell someone something I've been through, describe my honest feelings about something personal, the likely response is, "You should see a therapist." Maybe that's why I don't often open up and describe my honest feelings, but today I'll open up:

• I've had about three genuine friends in my life, and two of them are dead.

• I talk to myself, a lot, sometimes saying very cruel things — about you, though, not about me.

• I eat too much, probably because I'm trying to fill an emotional emptiness inside.

• I'd rather be alone than in almost any social situation you could imagine.

• I kinda like disco music.

That's just the beginning of my nuttiness, of course; the list goes on and on. Stifle any advice, though. I've embraced my inner nut, and I'm doing OK.

And I'm not the only nut. We are legion. Any time anyone opens up about what they're going through or describes their honest feelings, it's clear to me that they're cashews and almonds:

• "I purge after every meal."

• "I haven't had a good night's sleep in years."

• "Most days I break down and cry, and I'm not sure why."

• "I count to 1,000 when I'm washing my hands."

• "I actually like my job."

… and more and more, all direct quotes from people I've known — and liked, and still like — but people who are nuts. Everyone I respect is nuts, at least a little, maybe a lot. Also, everyone I despise.

Is there anyone on Earth who's not insane or going there? Anyone? Bueller? Is my perspective skewed because I'm nuts, so I tend to notice the other nuts? Are you one of the nuts, like me and everyone I know? Or am I just nuts?

And what about those lucky few people who apparently have no issues, those friggin' bastards who seem to be comfortable, composed, and at ease in any situation? If we got to know any of those not-nuts a little better, you know they'd reveal themselves as nuts, too.

Someone who’s limping, or someone who’s massively overweight, you can see their situation at a glance. We can't see other people's mental or psychological injuries, though, so there's a tendency to assume they're doing just fine. In truth, of course, all of us walk with a limp.

All of us are nuts, but it's obvious that some people are nuttier than others. Someone who mutters about lizards ruling the universe is nuttier than me or maybe you, and should have access to either help or institutionalization. Someone who endorses simpleminded hoaxes and rejects plain facts shouldn't be President of the United States, with quick access to the nuclear launch codes.

The root of the problem, I believe, is that most people can't or won't acknowledge that they're nuts. Tell them they're nuts and they'll argue. Me, I don't argue, I agree. Sure, I'm nuts and so are you. Why not say it out loud?

Yeah, I'm serious about this. Self-improvement and world-improvement both begin by accepting that nuttiness is universal, and within all of us. The problem can't be addressed if it can't be acknowledged, so don't deny it, confess it. Shout it! You might learn to live with your nuttiness (that's my choice), or you might try to reduce your nuttiness (and I'm rooting for you), but it's nuts to pretend you're not nuts. That way lies madness.

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WE HAVE TO PUT DOWN THE DOPE PIPE and put down the crack pipe, and put down the hip-hop and put down the baby-baby, and pick up the calculus book and pick up the chemistry book, or we die, brothers and sisters, we die! 

—Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour, of the African-Arabian Press, lamenting the future of black America, on his KPFA radio show “The Other Side of the Coin,” shortly before being taken off the air. 

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AGAINST A BACKDROP of mile-long lines for food handouts Congress and the Federal Reserve have put $7 trillion in the hands of investors through the CARES Act's corporate bailout and follow-up interventions. Since March 2020, the wealth of U.S. billionaires has risen by $565 billion. There will be no serious challenge to this upward redistribution of wealth because the Democratic Party strongly supports it. The "rescue" should not be particularly associated with the Trump Administration, though the President of course backs it. The leaders and chief funders of both parties were behind it, and overwhelming majorities in Congress went along. This consensus has been at the heart of politico-economic evolution in the US, where a seemingly inexorable process of economic deterioration has been met by intensifying political predation. 

— Robert Brenner

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(photo by Chris Calder)

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I HONESTLY DO THINK poetry is important to people, in much the same way that clean air and food and water are important to people. I do not have my head up my ass; I know that people are being murdered so that I can have bananas three pounds for a dollar. I know that most of the human race goes to sleep and wakes up hungry. I know that most of the wealth of the earth comes to my country and turns to atomic waste. I know that every hour species of my fellow beings born with Adam will become extinct. I know this planet is being poisoned to death because of vanity and fear and hate, and I know these things are mine. I believe that poetry is an immediate answer and an ultimate answer to these things; I believe that poetry is the language of the Muse, Who exists in a far different way from cute conceit. I don’t think there are such things as “good poetry” and “bad poetry”; I think there is a part of language that’s the language of the Muse. Who is a goddess, and God help us all!

Best wishes to Tinaskys everywhere.

— Wanda Tinasky

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Have you ever heard anything so sick and crazy and outright stupid as defunding the police? If you do that there will be so much anarchy in this country that you will be able to stuff it down your throat. Your wife won't be able to go shopping alone without an armed guard because she might be raped or killed. 90% of the American people do not believe in defunding the police. Where are those 90%? Stand up for your rights! Stand up for not defunding the police instead of sitting behind your desk or your couch! Let the police have their money and do their job! If we don't have them we don't have nuthin’, you stupid bastards.

Black lives matter is a joke! They only matter when a black man breaking the law is shot by a white officer. If they mattered they wouldn't have what's going on in Chicago and Indianapolis and Detroit and New Orleans and other major cities where black people are killed every day on the sidewalk. It's an effing joke. It's a political thing to try to get even with President Trump or get him out of office. These people marching in the streets are dumb SOBs only doing it to suit themselves and no one else.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


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Is the world becoming deranged or am I succumbing to dementia? ...J.K. Rowling was accused of transphobia about two years ago for “liking” a tweet that referred to transgender women as “men in dresses.” 

Ms. Rowling took aim at an article that referred to “people who menstruate,” suggesting that it was wrong to not use “women” in a misguided attempt to include trans people. ... 

“I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators.”

This is insanity. One cannot even question the absurd claim that transsexuals, essentially homosexuals in dresses, some of whom have undergone cosmetic surgery, are women. 

This link leads to one of the few reasonable articles still permitted on-line by our gatekeepers. Although I worry about Ms. Allen's career.

I find the whole discussion absurd. To use a cliche, glueing a cotton tail on your ass and hopping around does not make you a rabbit. Wearing a dress does not make you a woman. 

Louis S. Bedrock

Roselle, New Jersey

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(photo by Chris Calder)

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Board of Supervisors:

As are most of the residents of Mendocino County I am appalled at the total restriction of our constitutional rights. You as the County Board of Supervisors number one has been listening to a “Public Health Officer” that doesn’t even live in this county, and have arbitrarily decided to spend more of your constituent’s money by hiring Dr Mimi Doohan as a consultant for $125,000, doubling her salary, without a vote of the residents. You sit in your ivory tower totally oblivious to the plight of the citizens. You all have drank Gov Newsom’s koolaid and have lost sight of your duties. Act in a REASONABLE manner for the best interest of the residents. (if you don’t wear a mask we are going to fine you) you want to fine people who are struggling to survive because of the SHUT DOWN and loss of jobs, how about actually looking at CDC guidelines and the fact that they are talking about down grading to an epidemic from pandemic. Yes our COVID numbers are increasing, as we are testing more people, they are all not symptomatic. Don’t restrict our right to freedom of choice. 

I think that there are reasonable Medical Professionals that are willing to take on the task/job of Public Health Officer, don’t let Carmelo’s personal conflict hinder bringing on the Medical professionals that work IN OUR AREA. 

I value your input and await your reply 

Scott Engelman 


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To: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors 

I strongly urge you to terminate Mendocino County’s relationship with the USDA's Wildlife Services. Their methods are barbaric and they are not effective at eliminating wild life predation on livestock. Also these “services” are mostly employed at the behest of ranchers who ought to foot the bill themselves if this is the only way they are willing to deal with the situation. There are proven non-lethal alternatives to their methods that many members of the public have attempted to educate the BOS about. Our beleaguered wildlife does not deserve public support for their brutal unscientific methods. 


Kirk Lumpkin 


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Supervisor John Haschak,

I’m concerned about the Board's renewing their $170,000 contract with USDA Wildlife Services to; shoot, poison, and trap wildlife predators that might hurt ranching and agricultural production. I think it’s a bad idea. 

County impacts from the COVID crisis has made our financial situation much tighter than usual. Spending $170,000 of county money for this unpopular, short-sighted, unnecessary program needs to be discontinued at this time of budget shortfalls. 

Predators are a legitimate issue for ranchers, and these landowners already have the legal right to shoot wild animals encountered in the act of molesting or injuring their livestock, they can also get depredation permits from CDFW. Perhaps a portion of the county money saved from not renewing the USDA Wildlife Services contract could assist ranchers with alternative humane approaches to limit livestock depredation. Neighboring Sonoma and Marin counties have tried this approach with positive outcomes. Taking science based non-lethal approaches can get good results. 

Wildlife belongs to the State of California, they are not landowner property. Wildlife has an intrinsic value that should be respected. Subsidizing irresponsible ranching techniques with county funding for; shooting, poisons, and traps, isn't the only way of protecting livestock from predators. 

Isn't there some other county priority that would benefit from saving this $170,000 for more vital expenditures in our county? 

Richard Ettelson 


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  1. Louis Bedrock July 13, 2020

    Freedom is Slavery.
    Ignorance is Strength.

    —Protesters have been accused of “trans hatred” after pasting phallus-shaped stickers on the genitalia of Antony Gormley’s statues on Crosby beach, saying “women don’t have penises”.

    —The City of Vancouver announced last week that, starting next year, it will no longer provide Rape Relief with a nearly $34,000 annual grant, saying the charitable group does not meet its trans equality and inclusion criteria, adopted in 2016.

  2. Betsy Cawn July 13, 2020

    The discussion about “transwomen” and whether anyone can “disagree” with their being called “women” is just another extension of the whole concept of “lifestyle.” As a teenager in the late 1950s, I just barely escaped the mandatory requirement for females to adorn themselves in a multitude of ways (extremely simplified in those days — the big deal, as I recall, was mascara and “eye-liner”), which became a multi-billion dollar business by the time I was advised, by our corporate “Human Resources” director, to “dress for success” if I really wanted to “get ahead.”

    Fortunately, I had by that time allied myself with high performers in scientific industries, who really couldn’t care less about function-less activities attendant to “beautification” — leave that to the marketing men and pitch bitches. I still marvel at the fact that powerful people (mostly, yes, male) do almost nothing to their physiognomies — compulsory characteristics (shave or no shave) but low maintenance and minimal costs. Angela Merkel is my style hero these days.

    But the idea that a person has nothing better to do that flatter themselves with wardrobes, makeup, and even surgical procedures is the height of wastefulness in my professional world. Let the ninnies have (and pay for) their own bathrooms; or just use “omni-sexual” facilities with respect like everyone else. But please don’t claim to be “women.” If you want to tart yourself up and put your wares on display, please don’t claim to be surprised when you are attacked by mentally deranged “men” — who also seem to have nothing better to do than wander around looking for some sort of aberrated misogynistic self-justification of their questionable masculinity. GET A LIFE.

    • George Hollister July 13, 2020

      People in business who deal with the public need to dress in a manner that evokes an immediate positive image from people they have never met before. It means dressing appropriately for the job, in all it’s different ways. That applies to both men and women. Otherwise, the horn effect can impose itself, and interfere with effectively getting business done.

  3. Lazarus July 13, 2020


    “I see a red door and I want it painted black
    No colors anymore, I want them to turn black
    I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
    I have to turn my head until my darkness goes”

    “I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black
    Black as night, black as coal”

    THE ROLLING STONES, Circa 1966

    Be safe,

  4. Joe July 13, 2020

    “Leslie Wexner of Victoria’s Secret fame is the one who financed all of Epstein’s operations, on behalf of Israel according to victim Maria Farmer.”

    “According to VOX Leslie Wexner is the founder, chair, and CEO of L Brands, the Ohio-based conglomerate that owns Victoria’s Secret, Pink, and Bath & Body Works, and has spin off brands like Abercrombie & Fitch. He’s worth $4.8 billion, according to Forbes”

  5. Jenny Lutes July 13, 2020

    Re Louis Bedrock,
    Also, going into a garage does not make you a car and going to a church does not make you a Christian. However, passing judgement on those who identify as another sex than what their birth certificate indicates JUST MIGHT make you an asshole. It is nobody’s business what is under someone’s dress OR with what gender they identify. Keep your noses in your own pants, please, and let people live as they wish.

  6. Louis Bedrock July 13, 2020

    “It is nobody’s business what is under someone’s dress OR with what gender they identify.”

    Listen, you PC philistine, it is other people’s business when transies cause a women’s clinic to lose funding or they accuse a women’s group of hate speech.

  7. Louis Bedrock July 13, 2020

    Susie de Castro o cualquier otro parlante de español:
    ¿Reconoces la letra de esta canción?
    ¿Me puedes decir quién la cantó y el nombre de la canción?

    “Abandoné a mi pueblo,
    Y muy lejos yo me fui,
    Solo quería encontrar
    Algo para entregarte,
    El sudar de mi trabajo.

    “Los ciudades y caminos,
    Los lugares que encontré,
    Me enseñaron con sus luces,
    Y tentaciones y fracturas.
    Por las calles que me olvidé”

    Por el mundo yo he viajado,
    Por los vientos yo volé,
    Siete mares y montañas,
    Cruzaré de cualquier manera
    Hasta verte otra vez.

    Por los ríos de botellas,
    Callejones y cantinas,
    Me he llevado tus recuerdos,
    Por tus ojos y tus besos
    Yo volveré.”

    • Susie de Castro July 13, 2020

      Perdona, Louis B., pero no tengo ni la menor idea.

  8. Stephen Rosenthal July 13, 2020

    Not that I thought too much of him when he ran, but Haschak has proven to be over his head as a Supervisor. The good news is, now that he has been exposed, he’s very beatable should he choose to run for a second term. Run Johnny, run.
    Pinches, that is.

    • Lazarus July 13, 2020

      Being from the area, I’m hearing of several who could toss their hats into the ring, but Johnny has had his day I suspect.
      Be swell,

      • Stephen Rosenthal July 13, 2020

        Too bad. Johnny and Ted Williams might make for a formidable team. Thanks for the update.

  9. chuck dunbar July 13, 2020

    Man, today’s MCT and responses/comments–largely a downer, depressing, lots of snark, worrisome stuff, more so than usual, I think. I hope that some of the commenters who post kind of nasty stuff are helped in some small way by their venting. Glad I have my garden to take care of every day, trying to stay sane, like all of us, in these weird times…

    • James Marmon July 13, 2020

      Like my mother raised me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

      James Marmon

    • Bruce McEwen July 13, 2020

      I, too, am glad, Chuck, that I now have a life that affords me the perspective of detachment from the mean-spirited squabbles that so frequently mar the luster of urbane debates in the mighty AVA. “You take care of your garden and your garden takes care of you,” as Grandpa McEwen used to always say.

  10. George Hollister July 13, 2020

    Dr Colfax should reflect that there was a time when a family in a cave sheltered in place because a pack of dyer wolves waited outside. What to do? The food and water were running out, the kids were crying, and help might never come. So the family dealt with it, and did the best that they could. That meant venturing outside the cave.

    At some point we need to do the same with C-19. Plan, learn, and be smart. But we can not stay in our cave forever. And waiting for a vaccine might be a long, long wait.

  11. Joe July 13, 2020

    Looks like all the Restaurants that had to lay off employees and finally hire some back get to do the hokey pokey again. Thanks Gavin Nosense for nuttin.

    • James Marmon July 13, 2020

      Newscum is going to turn the State red, let him go.


  12. Betsy Cawn July 14, 2020

    James Marmon, citing his mother’s advice, after years of spewing invective and opprobrium on the Mendocino mental health and child welfare systems — L.O.L.!

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